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U.S. Economic Development Administration Invests $200,000 to Help Develop Robust Economic Recovery Strategy for Northern Minnesota


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $200,000 grant to the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission to help establish an economic recovery strategy in response to recent job losses resulting from the restructuring of the paper industry in Koochiching County, Minnesota.

“Helping U.S. regions develop strategies that will facilitate their efforts to design and implement long-term plans for economic recovery is an important first step to getting their economies back on track,” said U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine. “The EDA grant announced today will allow for the creation of a long-term strategy to help Northern Minnesota realize greater economic growth and stability.”

"We are determined to see this great city of International Falls not only recover from the Boise job losses, but to grow and diversify economically in ways that enhance the region and everyone's quality of life,” said U.S. Congressman Rick Nolan. “This grant marks a giant step forward in formulating a strategy and a plan. I was delighted to work with EDA to expedite the approval and release of this money. And I'm looking forward to rolling up my sleeves to help move the process along so we can start creating good paying jobs for the people who need them."

In May 2013, Boise announced it would be closing two of its four paper factories, which eliminated roughly 265 jobs in the Northern Minnesota region. The Mayor and other local leadership formed an Economic Response Team to brainstorm ideas, but the group needed additional funding to develop a strategic plan. According to the grantee, EDA’s investment will enable the region to develop a strategy that targets business and industry growth opportunities, which will allow the region to diversify its economy, assess its workforce needs, and help displaced workers find new opportunities. The plan will also identify strategies to ensure existing businesses and entrepreneurs’ needs are being met by the region, and they will remain part of the business community in Northern Minnesota.

The Arrowhead Regional Development Commission also received a planning grant from EDA for $64,465 to support the development and implementation of a comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) for the region.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.